On Tuesday, the Lawrence University Community Council convened. The primary item on the agenda was presented by William Dalsen, current LUCC Parliamentarian and one of the candidates in last week’s LUCC presidential election..He brought forward his desire to recall the presidential election for the 2004-2005 academic year. Dalsen was one of of two candidates for president. Joel Rogers, the other candidate on the ballot, was elected the new LUCC president for 2004-2005. Mr. Dalsen argued that the voting procedures were “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional.” He brought his point before LUCC saying, “I do believe reasonably that the election was not fair.”
The only ways of voting available to the Lawrence community this year was to vote online through Lawrence’s Voyager program or to fill out a ballot at Downer Commons at specific times. Fifty percent of people that voted this year voted online and thirty-one people did not vote. “We placed all of our faith in this brand-new system,” Mr. Dalsen said, referring to the new online voting system.
Mr. Dalsen argued that the system of voting online through Voyager did not work well enough and “deterred people from voting.” Conventional ballot voting took place at Downer Commons on the Friday and Saturday of the voting period. Mr. Dalsen said that this option was at “off peak hours,” for two days only, and did little to help the matter.
Mr. Dalsen continued by saying that some students didn’t even know that an election was taking place. He said that “emails aren’t enough” and that this lack of publicity “exacerbated the problem.”
It was said that last year voting tables were set up in a wider, more diverse range at Main Hall, the Conservatory of Music and Briggs Hall, as well as Downer Commons. Mr. Dalsen argued that it was “unrealistic” for students to be expected to remember their Voyager PIN numbers and vote online.
Pete Snyder countered by saying that it was not a question of whether it was convenient to vote for the Lawrence community, but the “issue is whether they were able and had access to go to Downer” or go online to vote. It was said that the voting procedures were democratic and did not violate the constitution.
After much discussion on whether or not there should be a recall election, the current president of LUCC, Jacques Hacquebord, put the matter to a roll call vote. The majority was in favor to not overturn the presidential election in question, and therefore to have no recall election.